Vitamin B6: A Molecule for Human Health?
Vitamin B6 is an intriguing molecule that is involved in a wide range of metabolic, physiological and developmental processes. Based on its water solubility and high reactivity when phosphorylated, it is a suitable co-factor for many biochemical processes. Furthermore the vitamin is a potent antioxidant, rivaling carotenoids or tocopherols in its ability to quench reactive oxygen species. It is therefore not surprising that the vitamin is essential and unquestionably important for the cellular metabolism and well-being of all living organisms. The review briefly summarizes the biosynthetic pathways of vitamin B6 in pro- and eukaryotes and its diverse roles in enzymatic reactions. Finally, because in recent years the vitamin has often been considered beneficial for human health, the review will also sum up and critically reflect on current knowledge how human health can profit from vitamin B6.